A Non-Governmental Organisation, Oxfam International, has ranked Nigeria low on poverty eradication and gender equality.
In its 2019 report, Oxfam said 69% percent of Nigerians live below the poverty line.
Oxfam’s Country Director, Constant Tchona, made the disclosure during a media briefing in Abuja yesterday
Although, the international organisation affirms Nigeria’s economic growth in the last six years, it describes the growth as a paradox, saying it does not reflect on the living standards of the citizens.
“The gap between the rich and the poor may be a worldwide problem but in Nigeria, the scale of inequality is staggering. Nigeria is the only oil-producing nation in the league of five countries with the largest highest number of poor people.
“Although the country’s economy has expanded at an average of 6% every year since 2016, the paradox of growth in Nigeria is that as the country gets richer, more than half of its 200million strong population continue to live in abject poverty.
“This index reveals that 69% of Nigerians are living below the poverty line. The report also reveals that Nigeria ranks 125 out of 145 countries on the gender inequality index,” Tchona said.
The organisation also decried the level of inequality in Africa, particularly West Africa.
“Inequality is at crisis levels in West Africa. While a small but growing number of people are becoming fantastically rich, the vast majority are denied the most essential elements of a dignified life, such as quality education, healthcare, and decent jobs, despite remarkable economic growth driven by extractive industries.”
“Five of Nigeria’s richest men have a combined wealth of US$29.9 billion – more than the country’s entire national budget for 2017. However, about 60 percent of its citizens live on less than US$1.25 a day, the threshold for absolute poverty,” he said.
As part of its recommendations, Oxfam urges the Nigerian government to critically re-examine its policies, the culture of governance and make deliberate efforts to break the concentration of wealth in the hands of the elite.
TheCable also understands that at least three million Nigerians have slipped into extreme poverty between November 2018 and February 2019.
According to the World Poverty Clock, created by Vienna-based World Data Lab, 91.16 million Nigerians were living below a dollar a day as of February 13, 2019.
In June 2018, the Brookings Institution projected that Nigeria had overtaken India, as the poverty capital of the world, with 86.9 million extremely poor people.
This was further confirmed by the British Prime Minister Theresa May, who said Nigeria had become home to the largest number of very poor people in the world, putting the figures at 87 million.
Today, India has 48.7 million people living in poverty, from 73 million in June 2018. By implication, India has pulled out a minimum of 24 million people from poverty in less than eight months